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Wellness Guide — Sexual Health and Education

A Guide to the UConn Library Wellness and Self-Care Collection

What is sexual health?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sexual health is defined as, “…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.” (WHO, 2006)

Elements of sexual health according to the WHO, include

When viewed holistically and positively:

  • Sexual health is about well-being, not merely the absence of disease.
  • Sexual health involves respect, safety and freedom from discrimination and violence.
  • Sexual health depends on the fulfilment of certain human rights.
  • Sexual health is relevant throughout the individual’s lifespan, not only to those in the reproductive years, but also to both the young and the elderly.
  • Sexual health is expressed through diverse sexualities and forms of sexual expression.
  • Sexual health is critically influenced by gender norms, roles, expectations and power dynamics.

Sexual health needs to be understood within specific social, economic and political contexts.

Couple holding hands standing on hill in Greece overlooking the city

Above: Photo by Farsai Chaikulngamdee on Unsplash

This page features resources on sexual health and education.  At the top of the page you will find resources on sexual consent.  Below that, you will find resources on womens' health, mens' health, transgender health, and asexuality.

Campus Resources

Regional Resources

Sexual Health and Education Website Resources

EBooks from the Catalog

What is consent?

"Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent should be clearly and freely communicated. A verbal and affirmative expression of consent can help both you and your partner to understand and respect each other’s boundaries.

Consent cannot be given by individuals who are underage, intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, or asleep or unconscious. If someone agrees to an activity under pressure of intimidation or threat, that isn’t considered consent because it was not given freely. Unequal power dynamics, such as engaging in sexual activity with an employee or student, also mean that consent cannot be freely given."

This definition is from RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) , the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.

You can also remember more about consent through the FRIES acronym: 

Consent is:  Freely Given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, and Specific

                                                                                Consent acronym illustration

Tea and Consent

This is a video from the #consentiseverything project, and explains the concept of sexual consent with a clear and easy to understand analogy. 

Sexual consent is where a person has the ability and freedom to agree to sexual activity.

Physical Library Book Resources